Business History Seminar: Daniel Raff (Wharton Busniess School). The transformation of book retailing in America, 1970–95

Daniel Raff (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) will talk about the transformation of book retailing in America ca. 1970–95. The major transition was less modal sales venues shifting from Central Business Districts to suburban locations than the rise of extremely broadly merchandised ‘superstores’ and their supporting infrastructure. Complementarities and the persistence of core capabilities are striking features of the organizational histories, but so is—over a fairly extended period—evolutionary change.

Business History Seminar. Anne Schmidt (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin) : Advertising Emotions

In my talk I discuss Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and History of the Emotions approaches and ask how these approaches can be used to analyze advertising culture in Germany throughout the twentieth century. Based on several examples I will show how I use analytical tools to examine the following research questions: How were consumers and advertisers enacted in advertising culture? How did the processes of making up consumers and advertisers influence product qualities and characteristics as well as the techniques of offering products? And vice versa: How did these techniques rework the makeup of advertisers and consumers?

WORKSHOP Historical Approaches to Entrepreneurship Research: Toward a “New Entrepreneurial History”

In recent years, scholars have grown increasingly interested in the promise of using historical sources and reasoning in entrepreneurship research. History, it has been argued, can be valuable in addressing a number of limitations in traditional approaches to studying entrepreneurship, including in providing multi-level perspectives on the entrepreneurial process, in accounting for contexts and institutions, in understanding the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic change, and in situating entrepreneurial behavior and cognition within the flow of time. Historical methods, in this regard, point the direction to both valuable sources and data for addressing such questions and to a body of historical theory from which to conceptualize context, time, and change analytically. Indeed, it is for many of these same reasons that Schumpeter called for theorists and historians to collaborate in the study of entrepreneurship.

New Book: Perspectives on European Economic and Social History - Perspektiven der Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, ed. by J. Hesse / C. Kleinschmidt / A. Reckendrees / R. Stokes

The articles in the volume offer an overview of key lines of development of European society, economy and financial markets after the Second World War and report on and analyse recent research hypotheses and strategies. They also mark out important desiderata for future research in their respective research areas.

Olivier Accominotti (LSE): Global Banking and Crisis Propagation: Evidence from the 1931 Financial Crash

Abstract: How did the 1931 financial crisis propagate internationally? This paper compares the effect of the Central European panic of the summer 1931 on the US and British banking systems. I rely on new archival data and document a key difference between the United States and Britain in how Central European credits were distributed across banks. In Britain, most of the lending to Central Europe was done by small banks with high levels of exposure relative to their capital. In the United States, most of the lending to Central Europe was done by big banks with low levels of exposure relative to their capital. The freeze of Central European assets therefore left many more British banks insolvent than US banks. The structure of informational asymmetries within the banking system accounts for the distribution of German credits in both countries. This explains why the Central European crisis propagated to London and not New York in the summer of 1931.